Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Book report - Lost Triumph - Lee's real plan at Gettysburg and why it failed

I am fanatical reader and will give you the summaries of the books I read.

Lost Triumph was a very well written book that was hard to put down and which the premise was fascinating.

Author Tom Carhart argues that there was now way that General Lee with upwards of 60000 men would only use the roughly 13000 men of "Pickett's charge" to try and break the Army of the Potomac numbering some 80000 men.

Throughout the book Carhart demonstrates how Lee was a great admirer of Napoleon and how he consistently followed tactics laid down and perfected by the diminutive French general.

He also goes on to show that Lee studied the great military commanders of history such as Hannibal and Frederick the Great and how he planned to use their great victories and strategies to crush the Union at Gettysburg.

Carhart argues that it was Lee's intention to envelope Meade's army with the cavalry of J.E.B Stuart slamming the back door shut and plunge deep into the rear just as "Pickett's Charge" was reaching its peak.

This plan was nullified by two major factors.

First, Lee's army was unable to coordinate their attack and therefore only the attack against the Union center was made.
Second, J.E.B. Stuart's cavalry attack of 4000 troopers to the rear of Union lines was thwarted by a suicidal counterattack led by George Custer and 400 of his fellow Michigan cavalry.

This is a great book and recommend it to anyone who's fascinated with military history or civil war history in general.

4.5 out of 5

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